Battery Maintenance – What should I top up a conventional/lead acid battery with?

Maintaining you conventional or lead acid flooded cell motorcycle battery…..

CB14L-A2 motorcycle battery

Unlike their maintenance free or gel filled counterparts, Conventional Motorcycle Batteries need to have the battery acid levels checked and topped up occasionally.

But what should you top the battery up with?

DISTILLED WATER!!!! Lead acid batteries should be topped up with distilled (NOT tap) water.

The reason the battery should be topped up with distilled water is to keep the battery acid/electrolyte at the correct strength.
As the battery is used, the battery acid loses some of it water content which needs to be replaced by topping up the battery to the upper level mark with distilled water.

Why can’t I use the left over battery acid or electrolyte that came with the battery?

Because adding more acid to the battery would make the concentration of acid in the battery too strong and can cause the acid to eat away at the lead plates (which will make the battery fail).

Why can’t I use tap water instead of distilled water?

Tap water and other, non distilled waters (like bottled drinking water) contain impurities that are invisible to the naked eye.
These impurities can cause the battery to short out or fail fairly quickly.

Source: Motorcycle Battery FAQ’s


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